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PM isolated in govt on Pakistan: US envoy

Fresh Wikileaks cables have revealed that US Ambassadors in Delhi had told the State dept that PM Manmohan Singh was `isolated` in his govt on talks with Pakistan.



New Delhi: Fresh Wikileaks cables have
revealed that US Ambassadors in Delhi had told the State
department that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "isolated"
in his government on talks with Pakistan and that there was a
pro-US tilt in Mani Shankar Aiyar`s removal as Petroleum
Minister in 2006.

A cable sent by current Ambassador Timothy Roemer in
August 2009 after a meeting with the then National Security
Adviser (NSA) MK Narayanan says that "on Pakistan, Narayanan
readily conceded a differing policy vision with his boss".

Narayanan had noted that he did not share Singh`s
"great belief" in talks and negotiations with Pakistan and
"suggested that the PM was isolated within his own government
in this view".

The then NSA, says the Ambassador, himself was not a
great believer in Pakistan.

"After the Prime Minister spoke in speeches of India`s
shared destiny with Pakistan, he (Narayanan) told the PM you
have a shared destiny, we don`t," the envoy says.

Then Roemer adds his own comments to say that
Narayanan made the comments with some joviality and was
totally complimentary of the PM throughout the discussion.

He made a point of commending PM`s intellect, economic
prowess among the G-20 leaders and self-effacing manner as an
accidental politician and former civil servant like him.

The three aspects of Narayanan`s comments that struck
the Ambassador as noteworthy were his "rather blunt" assertion
that foreign policy is run out of the PMO which lent credence
to media chatter about the foreign ministry being marginalised
under SM Krishna.

The other aspects were his admission of differences
with PM on Pakistan and his intimation that Singh is isolated
within his government and his repeated reference to seeking
closer ties with his officials.

The Ambassador further notes that although Narayanan`s
tough stance on Pakistan was well known, his readiness to
distance himself from his boss in an initial courtesy call
would suggest that the Prime Minister "is more isolated than
we thought within his own inner circle in his effort to `trust
but verify` and pursue talks with Pakistan particularly in the
wake of the hammering his government took from opposition for
the Sharm-al-Sheikh statement with Prime Minister Gilani."

"This certainly confirms the risks and volatility the
PM faces in opening up new dialogue with Pakistan, and means
increased Government of India sensitivity to perceived
pressure from outsiders, particularly the US government, to
re-engage with Islamabad," the Ambassador wrote.

PTI

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